Chad Richardson is the news director for RiverTown Multimedia. He was the publisher of four RiverTown publications until 2016, when he was named news director. He was previously general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He worked at the Hastings Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.
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Here is a preview of this week's police report. The complete report can be found on Page 4A of the print edition of the Star Gazette. A 16-year-old being held at the Juvenile Detention Center in Hastings was acting strangely at 10:33 a.m. July 12, so a search of the juvenile was conducted. A small amount of marijuana was found inside a cellophane wrapper inside the juvenile's anus. A person using the restroom at a bar along Second Street in downtown Hastings lit the handle of a hand soap dispenser on fire in the men's bathroom.
Don Farrington, a Hastings Police Department patrol officer, is the subject of an internal investigation at the department and is no longer employed by the city. His last day of employment is July 16. State statutes prohibit the department from releasing any information about the cause of the investigation. That information would only be made public when the matter concludes.
The search continues for a Hastings mother who abducted her 5-year-old son in June. Wendi Lee Bartell Dimm disappeared with her son, 5-year-old Timber Dimm. Timber was to spend the summer with his father, and Bartell Dimm has since been charged with a felony count of depriving another of parental rights. A nationwide arrest warrant has been issued for her, but the trail has run cold. "Given the length of time that has passed since Timber was taken and the lack of leads we have been able to develop, we are increasingly concerned for his safety and well-being," Schnell said.
1999 Hastings High School graduate Jeff Taffe is coming back to Minnesota. On Tuesday, he signed a one-year contract with the NHL's Minnesota Wild. The timing for the move couldn't have been better. This spring, Taffe and his wife Jenni sold their house in Arizona and bought one in Lakeville. Earlier this summer, Taffe got a call from his agent, who told him the Wild was interested. From there, things fell in to place. "I've always wanted to come back and play here," Taffe said.
Hastings' newest police officer has been on the job for three weeks now. He's Ozzy, a German Shepherd police dog who is on patrol here with officer Mike Schmitz. Ozzy replaces Eis, who retired earlier this year. After 12 weeks of training that began in March, Ozzy graduated from K-9 school in St. Paul in late May. He started on the job here on June 1 and has already been out on a few searches and on a couple warrant arrests, Schmitz said. "He's getting activity," he said.
1999 Hastings High School graduate Jeff Taffe was signed over the weekend by the Minnesota Wild. He inked a one-year deal with the club. Taffe has played in 175 NHL games during his career. He has been with a number of clubs, spending last year with the Chicago Blackhawks. He played in one NHL game with the Blackhawks and spent the rest of the season in the American Hockey League with the Blackhawks' top farm team in Rockford, Ill. he had 30 goals and 67 points in 74 games for the IceHogs.
Me and Julio, the newest restaurant planned for Hastings, will open at 3 p.m. Thursday, July 14, if all goes as planned. That said, the shutdown of the state government may end up playing a significant role in whether or not the restaurant opens as scheduled. The shutdown will likely affect when new businesses get their required approval from state departments. Me and Julio will only be able to open July 14 if they can get their final inspection completed before then.
All work on the new Hastings bridge has ceased. With the state shutdown putting the Minnesota Department of Transportation on hold indefinitely, all work on state projects has come to a stop. The setback is nothing new to the project. High water late last fall slowed down work, but crews were able to catch up. The bigger problem came this spring with significant flooding and then an extended period of high water. Crews were just preparing to get back in the river, but the shutdown foiled those plans. It is unclear how the shutdown will affect the long-term project schedule.
A dog escaped from its enclosure and killed a neighboring dog. The case is under investigation, and the dog will be subject to dangerous dog proceedings. The incident occurred June 19 in the 700 block of 19th Street West. Officers recovered a black lab dog at about 7 p.m. June 19. The officer working the case made contact with the owner of the dog. The officer asked the owner to come pick her dog up along the 800 block of 11th Street. When she came to get the dog, the officer determined the owner was intoxicated.
The first beer Nick Rondeau actually liked tasted more like pop than beer. It was a Leinenkugel's Berry Weiss that his father Gary had purchased. Gary Rondeau wasn't a fan, in any way, of the beer. "It tastes like pop," he said. He offered a bottle to his son, who gave it a shot. That sip of beer almost 15 years ago changed Rondeau's life. No, it's not what he drinks to this day, but it was his first taste of a craft brew, and his love for beer was born.